Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Bubble Tip, Rose Anemone Use in Marine Aquariums 1

Related Articles: Bubble Tip, Rose Anemones, Entacmaea quadricolor, Use in Marine Systems by Bob Fenner, Bubble Tip Anemones by Jim Black,  Recent Experiences with BTA's by Marc Quattromani, LTAs, Anemones, Cnidarians, Colored/Dyed Anemones

Related FAQs: E. quad. FAQ 2, E. quad FAQ 3, E. quad. FAQ 4, E. quad FAQ 5BTAs 6, BTAs 7, BTAs 8, & BTA ID, BTA Compatibility, BTA Selection, BTA Behavior, BTA Systems, BTA Feeding, BTA Disease, BTA Reproduction/Propagation, LTAs, Anemones, Anemones 2Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Systems, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Identification, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Selection, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement, Anemone Feeding Heteractis malu

A rare orange Bubble Tip colony in Fiji.

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

Anemone Success
Doing what it takes to keep Anemones healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

- BTA in a Week Old Tank - The tank is just a week old,  <Eeek! Anemones are very sensitive critters, at the very least you should have waited a month to make sure the tank has properly cycled and that there are no ammonia or nitrite spikes to come.>  ... he anchored himself in for a few days to a good crevice then moved again.  I think he is just checking out the area until he finds a good spot.  I do not want to just grab and move him because it will just make him uneasy and he will move where he wants anyway so I am told. The two clowns and crab are all over him anyway, they are very happy with him and have taken to him now after 4 days. <Please stay on top of your ammonia and nitrite levels, and make sure you have plenty of fully cured live rock in the tank. Since it has been in the tank for only a few days, give it plenty of time to find a spot before moving it around. -Kevin>

- Wandering BTA - I have just started a tank and my Bubble is moving to the back of the tank, not only can I not see it, that is where the light is worst.  <How old is this tank that you have introduced a sensitive anemone into?>  I have a 29Gallon system with the CoralLife 130w (1-65w white and 1-65w actinic).  <Adequate lighting>  He seems to be doing ok but is wandering and I do not want him in the back of the tank as where he can not be seen.  He is also carrying a little white crab with him for the ride which will also not be seen in the back somewhere.  How can I get him to move more to the front? <You'll have to literally pick it up and plop it back down somewhere you want it to go and cross your fingers. If it's wandering around, it's not happy. You may want to wait a bit though, as they tend to anchor themselves deep inside the rockwork and pop out in a nice high-light spot. Although it's just a big stinging bag of nerves, they are smart enough to move to a more appropriate spot if given time. If not, well, then you'll have to do it for him! -Kevin>

Bubble Tip Anemone with sunglasses - 8/10/03 Hi, <howdy> I have just discovered your website and want to  tell you how great it is. <thanks kindly... do tell friends :) > My system is small (30 g) with a 30g sump and refugium.  It is plumbed and ready for testing and  if all goes well live rock and curing.  Protein skimming and 250 pendant metal halide (10000k) lighting.   <good heavens! That's a lot of light...> My biotope will be Indo-Pacific relatively shallow water species. <fair enough then... truly an exception> My question concerns timing of anemone and clownfish occupation of the tank.  Because of the territorial nature of clownfish and the migratory nature of the BTA, it concerned me if I should inhabit these critters at the beginning or later.  Other critters will be a few SPS, clam,  possible goby, and wrasse. <The tank is too small for any anemone (or other motile cnidarians) with sessile species. It is a recipe for disaster if/when they move in the future (no doubt, while you are on vacation). Anemones are generally unnatural tankmates in reef aquaria at any rate and do best even when in species tanks only. Skip the anemone... save its life (and perhaps a tank full of livestock too) and just enjoy the shallow SPS corals and clams in this tank properly> Thanks for your help in advance Sam <best of luck! Anthony>

Re: Bubble Tip Anemones Dear Anthony, I've tried a number of anemones without success. I have a special affinity for carpet anemones, but one after another, they died.  <indeed... many problems with shipping for these animals before you even have a chance at them>  Oops. I neglected to tell you that for the past couple of years, I only had two 20w fluorescents on my tank. Once I converted to 2 55w PC, it provided the one thing they lacked most: light.  <wow...yes, my friend. Indeed a significant impediment to success with symbiotic cnidarians> I've been feeding my BTA some brine shrimp,  <even enriched brine is a poor food... do consider Mysis shrimp or Pacifica plankton instead> I'll ask for that, as I've never needed it before. I do buy and feed Spirulina Enriched Brine Shrimp, as well as Mysis Shrimp, but the fish tend to consume the latter.  <<agreed that many marine animals respond VERY well to brine shrimp... but it is such a poor food that I will call it literally dangerous for most applications. Animals will feed on it for perhaps a year or more before succumbing "mysteriously" from what is in actuality a dietary deficiency. Indeed... animals will starve in time if brine shrimp is any significant part of their diet>> I also target feed that to the smaller Anemonia majano (the small green ones), as well as my hungry polyps. I could target the anemone with Mysis shrimp in a few days. From a comment in your article, I went ahead and fed him Formula One, which he completely enveloped.... and the Percula didn't intervene too much, mostly because he'd already been fed.  <<very good!>> I was kind of hoping to encourage the possibility of a split.  <be sure to maintain very strong random turbulent water flow... stimulating  for anemones> I have 4 different sources moving water, and the tentacles definitely display some movement. Are you suggesting I simply alter the direction of the powerhead's water flow to change up the pattern some?  <<adjust or upgrade the current so that it could be described as significant random flow. Strong random movement of tentacles>> I have these tiny green anemones that split all the time, so I  figured it would be nice to see a "real" one split.  <Anemonia majano... > Thanks, I was wondering what they were....  <for many animals... HUFA (fatty) rich foods help to condition for spawning.  Do consider soaking your anemone's foods in Selcon (or Super Selco). And add the extra current too if necessary>  I'll write that down for my next visit to the store. I'm sure they'll have that. I recently bought a package of sheets of dried algae, which can be rubbed in the water for the fish to snack on, or clipped to a location where the fish can feed/tear bits off. This alternative for their diet has to be good, right?  <<very fine for herbivorous fishes>> Like my Flame Angel for example?  <<agreed>> Again, I appreciate your reply as well as the fact that I've got someone with the same animal to discuss. Your successful breeding of the anemones, however unintentional, gave me great hope for some long term success. Marc Levenson  <<best regards, Anthony>>

Bubble Tip Anemones Hi Bob & Marc, I just read your article (http://www.WetWebMedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm ) and found it to be very interesting. I just purchased a BTA about 6 weeks ago. And many of the attributes you mentioned have occurred with mine. It took about 2 weeks for my Percula Clown to move in. I've tried a number of anemones without success. I have a special affinity for carpet anemones, but one after another, they died.  <indeed... many problems with shipping for these animals before you even have a chance at them> My biggest success was a pink tip (something...can't recall that Latin name. LOL), which was WHITE when I bought it, but over time turned light brown. I was told that was a good thing.  <generally a good sign, yes> It ate and lived, but slowly began to shrink. It took a few months until it disappeared. I think my Coral Banded Shrimp had a hand in that, as he seemed to enjoy clipping off the tentacles, eating them like worms later. <ouch!> I've been feeding my BTA some brine shrimp,  <even enriched brine is a poor food... do consider Mysis shrimp or Pacifica plankton instead> as well as small slices of uncooked shrimp from the local supermarket deli.  <very good... remember to finely shred for best efficacy of feeding> It has shown large growth, as I've fed it about every 3 days or so.  <yes... very good> I was kind of hoping to encourage the possibility of a split.  <be sure to maintain very strong random turbulent water flow... stimulating for anemones> I have these tiny green anemones that split all the time, so I figured it would be nice to see a "real" one split.  <Anemonia majano... > Grin <agreed for the difference in market value> Here's my tank: http://www.sparklingfloorservice.com/maintank.html I'm open to suggestions of course, but I'd like to avoid any massive (costly) changes. Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated.  <for many animals... HUFA (fatty) rich foods help to condition for spawning. Do consider soaking your anemone's foods in Selcon (or Super Selco). And add the extra current too if necessary> And thank you again for your article. It was very informative. Marc Levenson Ft Worth, TX <best regards, Anthony>

Re: anemones Well yes my anemone seems to be faring well, because it has all its original coloring. It is an E. quadricolor, but no longer bears the bubbles on its tips (another question).  <one theory for this lack of bubble tips is a lack of dynamic water movement as it had on the reef> The water clarity is very good. I have an Ecosystem 60 filter with Caulerpa thriving; I have just changed my fl. actinic bulbs about a month ago, and my MH bulbs are coming up due for a change in about another month. The anemone moves a bit every once in a while but it never moves into the direct light. It has attached to the underside of a rock and the clown seems happy. I do regular water changes to keep everything in check and balanced. Any other advise for me? Should I slowly shoot brine into the anemone with a turkey baster and see what all it takes?  <never brine, please... animals starve on brine for its extraordinary low nutritional value. Mysis and Pacifica plankton would be better. feed thawed and decanted foods (discard packing juice) with a saltwater slurry to ease shock to invert upon feeding. A slow squirt with a turkey baster from distance is likely fine> I actively feed them either silversides or a thawed cube of prime reef.  <the prime reef may be fine (for its shredded size)... the silversides are arguably of little value. The sightless stinging animal will of course sting it and draw it in. But most certainly regurgitate this unnaturally large portion at night with respiration. The "rule" for anemones is nothing lager than 1/4 inch. Chunks of flesh would never sink through a reef to a sessile anemone without any number of other larger sighted animals tracking it first. Its unnatural and anemones are ill adapted to feed upon it. They feed on very fine zooplankton naturally.> I also have some small salad shrimp from the store I thaw and feed them from time to time.  <if raw, a good value, but remember to shred it fine or the anemone will hurl it later and effectively starve in time. It sounds like this anemone hasn't been getting a lot of usable sized rich foods. Perhaps we are dealing with some attrition here> Thanks!! You have been a great help! <I hope to have been of some service indeed. kindly, Anthony>

Bubble tip Dear Bob and Crew, I have had a bubble tip anemone for the last 3 months. The anemone was orange when I first got him but after a month it turned green. Does this mean anything? improper lighting? <Does mean something... maybe not improper but different lighting, nutrition, water chemistry...> Now some of the tips have a milky white substance in the tips. Maybe about 10% of the tips. They look like balloons with white powder in them. What's going on? Should I do something? <Maybe... I'd investigate the practical husbandry of this species, try to change its living conditions to be somewhat like the wild. Have you read over the materials posted on WetWebMedia.com re Anemones? The Breeder's Registry? Please start here: http://www.WetWebMedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm  and continue on. Bob Fenner> Karun

Bubble Tip Anemone Thank you for your reply and your suggestions -- they were very helpful. I have a question again -- sorry to bug you.  <Earnest questions, input are never a bother> I've had this green bubble tip Anemone for about 15 days now. I've noticed that he doesn't seem to be the same color as when I first got him. When he came in I placed him in a spot where he could be easily seen (good frontal view). He had green tentacles with a gorgeous bright red foot.  <Yes... more like in the wild than what typically happens in the process of collection, holding, shipping, captive husbandry... loss of zooxanthellae, vigor...> He has since moved to the back of the tank where I don't have a good "front" view of him (mostly a side view) and his tentacles seem to be different in color. His foot is still bright red though. He opens up beautifully so I don't think he's unhealthy (I've never seen him shriveled up or anything) -- I was just wondering if maybe my view is distorted or do they indeed change colors? <They can, do.> Is this a bad sign? Should I worry? My water parameters are excellent -- my salinity level is at 1.022. See any cause for concern there? <Always reason for concern... Please read through the "Anemone" sections of our site starting here: http://www.WetWebMedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm on to the linked files, FAQs there and the Breeder's Registry (link on the Marine Links page) re these animal's care. One item: I would maintain your spg nearer to natural... 1.025 or so> My friend had one come in a pinkish color and change to almost pure white. Hers is open though and seems healthy --staying in one spot. Is this color change normal or cause for alarm? <Normal as in typical for aquarium use... not normal as in not optimal for their care... need to be maintained in circumstances more like the wild (more current, light intensity...) w/o much interruption to retain zooxanthellae, health. Bob Fenner> Thanks once again! :)

Feeding a Quadricolor I recently got a bubble tip anemone (one week ago) and have not observed my maroon clown feeding it. <Not unusual.> She has bonded with it in the sense that she's in it all the time, etc. However, I have not seen her give it food. Will she maybe start feeding it eventually? <Perhaps, perhaps not. Better for you to ensure the health of your animal by direct feedings.> The anemone has attached itself in a spot in the tank that is very hard for me to reach to feed it. It looks very healthy and is getting good light where it is but I'm just not able to reach it easily without moving rocks, etc. around it. What do I do? <Feed it. Try using a length of tubing connected to a turkey baster to gently direct thawed, frozen Mysis shrimp or plankton into the tentacles.> Will it maybe move again to a better spot? <Not if it is "happy" now.> Should I wait a few days? <Maybe a few days, but try to method mentioned above.> I'm assuming that it is getting food from particles in the water because I've seen waste. <I would not make that assumption.> However, I'm concerned because I've read that you recommend feeding it something like shrimp, Formula One, etc. once a week. <Sometimes more often, two to three times per week.> Any advice you can give will be much appreciated. <There is an excellent article, if you have not already seen it, here http://www.WetWebMedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm> Also, I have not observed the "bubbles" on it's tips. Is this a bad sign. <No> It looks very healthy otherwise. One more question. . . when I feed it -- how do I do it - how much at one time? <About one half cube of the frozen shrimp mentioned above.> Do I just use my fingers and will it open it's mouth to receive it or should I just put it in the tentacles? <Never use your fingers to feed any stinging celled animal. Bad husbandry.> Do you have any articles on your website that deal with this? <Linked above.> Thanks again! <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Green Bubble Tip Anemone Hi Mr. Fenner, <Steven in this evening.> Hope all is well with you. I was hoping you could give me some advice. I have recently purchased a green bubble tip. My maroon clown went to it instantly and seems to be loving it. This is my first day with it. The anemone hasn't opened up all the way but that's most likely from the stress of shipping right? <Perhaps> It looks nice and healthy from what I can tell and the maroon is absolutely loving it! I have never kept an anemone before. I have VHO lighting and keep the lights on 9 hours a day -- is this enough? <How many lamps and of what wattage? Twelve hours would be best, a full photoperiod.> I have the salinity at 1.022 -- is this OK for the anemone? <Perhaps closer to full salt concentration, 1.024-1.026.> I have placed the anemone where it will get moderate flow. It has attached itself to a rock that has a pretty good crevice in it and seems to be staying there for now at least. It will move if it doesn't like the spot right? <Yes> As far as feeding. . . do you recommend once a week for the anemone? <Several times weekly.> Do you recommend frozen Formula One and fresh shrimp? <Either in small pieces> What other foods would be good? <Plankton and Mysis shrimp> Will the clown feed it as well? <Might actually steal it food> Are there any supplements to the water that will help the anemone? <Regular water changes should be enough.> The only thing I do right now is calcium and PH stuff. At some point I would like to add some live rock. Would the anemone like that? <Beneficial for the whole tank.> Should I move it to the live rock when/if I get some? <No> Is it OK to move the anemone or should I just leave it alone? <Please always leave alone.> Can you give me some hints to let me know signs that the anemone is not doing well. <A gaping mouth and turning into mush are two bad signs.> Are there signs to tell me that he's healthy? <Growth> I've heard that a bubble tip is among the easiest to care for -- do you agree? <Yes> Did I make a good choice? <Don't know.> Are there differences in the greens and the browns? <Probably a difference in the lighting that they were exposed to in the ocean.> I'm sorry for asking so many questions but I've never had one before. I've read a lot on your website but wanted to ask you these specific questions. I thank you so much for your time. Take care. <Please read the article at the following link http://www.WetWebMedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm -Steven Pro>

Green Bubble Tip Anemone I sent you an email earlier but forgot to ask you one more question -- I recently got this green tip anemone -- my maroon clown absolutely loves it! She went nuts! Is this ok?  <that is a baited question for someone like me who doesn't believe that most anemones should be offered for sale at all casually to aquarists. Far too many die in transit, they are VERY slow to recover in the wild from even modest collection (natural lifespan in decades but they are extremely slow to reproduce), and for the few that actually do survive import to make it into an aquarium... most are forced to live with other anemones or worse...a coral reef display (where they suffer chemical warfare <allelopathy> and die slowly over months or a couple of years at best. Most need full reef lighting, almost daily feeding and a species specific display (they are to be the only stinging animal in the tank). Forgive me, I know this wasn't exactly what you asked... but for your edification and the benefit of others, it seemed like a good time to air out this opinion... one that is shared with many industry professionals> Can she cause harm to the anemone by being over zealous?  <yes... possible> How will I know if the anemone doesn't like it?  <prolonged retraction of tentacles... which will kill it because without tentacles extended... it cannot capture food organismally or through adequate symbiotic activity from zooxanthellae> Are there any signs? Is this normal for clownfish to be this "happy" over it? Will she eventually calm down?  <hard to say> Thanks again for your patience with me! :) <no worries at all... I thank you for putting up with a short guy on a tall soapbox Anthony Calfo:)>

Bubble Tip Anemone Another anemone question. I have had a BTA for about one month. It looks great. It picked a rock in the middle of my tank but in the back. I've flipped the rock over, and it stayed there for at least two weeks, but now I only get to see it's beautiful reflection in the glass again.  <Why do you think this is?> I had been feeding it very small pieces of shrimp every other day. What is the best way to feed an animal that is so out of reach? <Perhaps it needs more, different light> Do anemones retract daily in the wild? <Some do, yes> Thanks -Becky <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Anemones I believe I read somewhere in a book (Delbeek/Sprung) that there are two distinct varieties of bubble-tipped anemones. One grows slowly to an adult, while the other stay small and readily divides. Is there any credence to this?  <Mmm, well... this could be a "natural classification" division... smaller, stressed specimens will tend to divide... larger ones are more likely to not be collected, or die in collection/shipping. Please read: http://www.WetWebMedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm> I have a bubble tip which I have had for well over a year and has not divided, but seems to be growing slowly. It is inhabited by a maroon clownfish and I feed it small salad shrimp every so often. Sometimes when I feed the anemone, the shrimp does not completely stick to the anemone; is it not hungry?  <Perhaps> The anemone itself seems very happy as it does not move around at all, and gets a lot of light as it stay up by the top of the reef structure under MH lights. Also it has retained its green color well; in the year and a half I have owned it, I would say it has only grown by 10-15%. Please let me in on any trade and/or personal secrets to this success. Thank so much. <... Anemones of "adult size" do actually "grow" very slowly in the wild and captivity... their periodic, cyclical or not expansion, contraction can be easily taken for "growth"... all trade, hobby "secrets" I know of are posted on WWM... unless haven't penned them yet. Be chatting, Bob Fenner> -D

Bubble Tip Anemone Dear Robert/Anthony <Steven Pro this morning.> I have just recently put a reserve on a nice Bubble tip anemone in my LFS (purple base with green tinted tentacles). It seems healthy in the shop with a large maroon clownfish currently in residence within it. I am just enquiring (excuse the extremely familiar question) if my lighting is good enough to keep it. My tank is 72 long x 18 wide x24 deep. I have 2 60" marine whites Arcadia) 1 60" actinic blue (arcadia)& 1 42" 50/50. All lights have reflectors and my tank is 10 months old with various soft Sarcophyton species within it. <Seems a bit low in intensity to me in a tank 24" deep.> The coral stock also includes 1 trumpet stony coral two feather dusters, mushroom polyps, green star polyps and a bubble coral. All are thriving and water conditions are optimal. Should I upgrade my lighting? <I would.> In terms of anemone positioning my LFS said to put it where I wanted and let the anemone decide where it wants to reside. <More the later> I have an ideal place for it on the bottom of my tank in the substrate. Please advise. <These anemones generally prefer to be attached to rock vs. sand. Look for Jim Black's article on Bubble-Tip care on WWM.> Many thanks, Jim <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Bubble Tip Anemone I've just brought a bubble tip anemone, for the first 5 days things were great. Until last week it suddenly disappeared in to a gap in my life rock and, has not come out since, I'm worried because the gap is to small to fit my hands in to feed it, or to get any light in to it. what can I do to make sure it is ok, or do you thing it has died. <It probably has not died. It is quite normal for E. quadricolor to keep their foot wedged into a small crevice. Please leave it alone and do not try to move it. Read up on their care on the website. -Steven Pro> Any help please! thanks Simon.

BTA foot caught under rock <gulp!> I was cleaning my tank today, and I usually don't disturb the rock that my Bubble Tip Anemone is attached to, but today I accidentally jostled the rock! Since the anemone has chosen to lodge its foot to the underside of the rock (which rests slightly off the sand floor, supported by parts of the rock that extend out), I'm worried that its foot may be pinned between the rock and the floor. The anemone has been in this position for about a month. Would it disturb or stress out the anemone if I picked up the rock to check if the foot is pinned? Would it be worse to leave the rock "as is" if the foot is pinned? ---Stella <better check to see if it is crushed.. the risk of a necrotic infection is worse than the stress of disturbing it. Best regards, Anthony>

A. frenatus I have a question in regards to how many A. frenatus clown fish I could possibly hope to keep in a 175 gal reef tank. Given that tank has become an ideal E. quadricolor producing tank. <Very nice! Will try to reproduce one of your images to go along with posting this FAQ tomorrow> I try to maintain the number of E. quads between 40 and 50 and sell anything above that number. The fish load on the tank is quite light. only a tang, a single young A. Frenatus and a Chromis damsel fish. The system has approximately 950 watts of VHO which I would assume that if I'm meeting the E. quads needs, I would not have to alter for the A. Frenatus. The system has medium current and is heavily skimmed. It has been up and running for 6 years now, so it's a pretty stable system. The anemones extend on the back side of the rock the length of the system and are now expanding to the front of the system. I am sending a few pics so you will have an idea of the setup and a bit of a view of the anemone volume in the system. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. If in fact A. frenatus is the way to go? Thank you for any ideas. <This species of Clownfish is a definite possibility... I would start with a good batch of very small (to one inch overall length) tank bred/reared individuals... maybe ten, twelve... Please see the following: http://www.WetWebMedia.com/anemones.htm for my table on naturally compatible clowns/anemones. If you have the time, could you tell us what you think has lead/leads to your success here with replicating the Bubble Tips? Bob Fenner> James Black

Sorry I sent my question to a link given to me. I just did a search of your site and found your discussion board. I probably should have posted there. Sorry for any inconvenience I have caused. <No worries my friend. Thank you for sharing your input, images. You will see these posted to our daily FAQs tomorrow: http://www.WetWebMedia.com/dailyq&a.htm  Be chatting. Bob Fenner> James Black

Re: A. frenatus I would guess I would post that under Anemones and Clown Fish. But not sure how to go into such a post and not seem self promoting or brash, or a know it all.  <No worries here/there I assure you... amazing group of non-ego-expanded folks... very knowledgeable, helpful> Maybe I shouldn't go into such a post at all and just send it to be posted under a FAQ type list. I've been the member of several other boards and BBS subscriptions for years and due to the amount of "Exposing oneself" that gets flamed I have always stuck to posting only on very general, accepted practices. i.e. SF, Skimming and lighting to some extent. I would be happy to share what has worked for me and give the reasons I stand behind each practice in respect to BTA's. Lord only knows how many other areas I have much to learn. <This is the case with all humans I have ever met> I am now new to your discussion board and have no idea yet as to how "friendly" a group of participants you have as members.  <Mmm, the most I have had occasion to encounter> I'm liking what I'm seeing as I go through the posts though. I'll work on a informative Word.doc about my setup and send it to you to proof. I in no way want to steer anyone new to the hobby in a "Bad Practice" direction. I've had enough failures with BTA's when I got started and had pretty good luck with them over the last 4 years. Not enough time to be called an expert by any stretch of the imagination. And as unlikely as it sounds, just now trying to get started with Anemone Fish. I hope to learn a lot on your site and wish I had found it sooner. <Ahh, if only the hobby/business/science were replete with people of your apparent passion, sensibleness. Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner> Jim

BTA's (Bubble Tip Anemones) Well, I'm not a writer but if you think the attachment contains anything that will help anyone please feel free to post it. By all means feel free to edit or correct anything you feel needs to be corrected. I hope to be a beneficial member on you discussion board and continue learning from my visits to it. <Such a benefit, an elaboration or concise interpretation of observations. I will indeed post your work, and urge you to organize, expand this piece and submit it with your images to the hobby magazines. Thank you. Bob Fenner> Jim
Re: BTA's
Thanks, you'll make my head swell up.:-) I have been reading the threads on the board and find them very interesting. For the time being I'll leave the writing to those more experienced in the field before sticking my foot in my mouth :-) Thank you for the replies. I will try to confine my presence to the board and not bother you any more. <Never a bother my friend. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Jim

BTAs Hi, Guys, Steven had suggested that I share my experiences with BTAs so I came up with the attached doc. Let me know if you want it in another format or have trouble with the attachment. I'll also take editing suggestions without a fuss if you want me to make changes for another draft. Marc <Outstanding Marc. Please make it known if we may post this piece and your name on the WWM site. And I suggest you send this in to FAMA (or other hobby 'zine for general readership. I gladly offer you my images if you'd like them to accompany your work. Will even send all in for you if you'd like (need your address for payment, or will send your email to Sue Steele at FAMA for response). Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: BTAs Hi, Bob, I'm glad you liked the article. By all means post the article and my name on your site; that's why I wrote it. I have a few so-so pictures of BTAs splitting but nothing very good. If you think it is worthy of FAMA and will send it in for me, that's even better. <Will send in today> My full name & address is: Marc Quattromani XXXX Thanks! Marc <And send along the cover that will accompany it. Be chatting. Bob F>

BT anemone Hi Bob! <You actually got Steven pro today.> It's me again. We have had 2 clownfish for about a week now, just bought an anemone today (didn't like the ones they had when we where there last). Several questions for you. How long, if ever, will it take the clowns to take to the anemone, the store said it was a Sebae. I know I read the articles about them. This one is pale green with purple tips. The second question is what and how should I feed it. Have cruised through the site, and can't find any specific information. <Mysis shrimp and/or plankton> That or I'm just blind today. If you could help me out I would greatly appreciate it. also, the site states that the anemone requires bright light, how bright? I have 2 white fluorescent, and 1 blue moon. Tank is 24" deep app. don't have a tape measure handy. Is 75 gallons. Each light is 20 watts. <No where near enough light, a total of 60 watts for a 75. You need to purchase a new light system. Four 110 watt VHO's would be good.> Got confused reading your section on lighting. The lights available here for aquarium use don't have that info on them. Sorry to bug you so much. Will be awaiting your reply. <Try reading this article http://www.WetWebMedia.com/bubbletipanemones.htm It is on bubble tip anemones, but much of the info would be helpful. For future reference, it is much better to find out how to care for an animal before purchasing it. That way your tank and you are properly prepared to care for it.> Thanks Again! Kat <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

A bulb-tipped anemone quest Hi Robert, <Hello> I checked out your site and your as well other articles on bulb-tipped anemones. I am going to be setting up a 10gal aquarium in the next few weeks that will include an Elysia crispata (lettuce sea slug), various xenias, some open brain corals, a sunrise Dottyback, and maybe some other undecided stuff. I live in Miami and am trying to keep a mostly/somewhat native tank. Ok, my question is,,, would a bulb-tipped anemone be safe to keep in my aquarium?  <A bulb-tipped anemone as in the Pacific Entacmaea quadricolor? Not easily kept in such a small volume (though have seen this done). Or maybe you mean the tropical West Atlantic Condylactis gigantea? A much better, more local animal.> What type would be good? What are optimal conditions for such an anemone? Thank so much! <Please go back and read over the anemone sections (including FAQs) on WetWebMedia.com> Morgan Moore <Husbandry, selection issues are covered there. Bob Fenner>

i.d. please? here is a pic of my 3 year old I have had him [or her] for 1 year now . my wife was watching the tank one day and now I have 2 this picture was taken right after I acquired him I was told he was a rose bubble tip but I haven't found any pic's of this little bugger thanks in advance Dave <This is a "Rose Anemone", an Entacmaea quadricolor, most often called a "Bubble Tip Anemone"... come in quite a few colors. Here are some others: http://WetWebMedia.Com/anemones.htm Bob Fenner>

Visual Guide to Bubble Tip Anemone? Hi Bob, <You actually got Steven Pro today. I am part of the WWM crew and taking a turn answering questions this morning.> I've inherited control of my company's 55 gal marine aquarium which has the following: 2 damsels banded goby and pistol shrimp pair maroon clown and bubble tip anemone pair 3 hermit crabs couple of turbo snails some live rock and live sand I've had tanks with just fish in them, but the bubble tip is a mystery to me. <A mystery to most, so don't feel bad.> The anemone was a recent addition to the tank (about 1 month ago), and I have no idea what "normal" looks like. His visual appearance changes daily from long thin tentacles to completely splayed out, engorged, almost transparent tentacles. His body also changes color and configuration. Is there a visual guide to bubble tips? I especially would like to know if he's hungry. Sometimes it seems like he's hungry when his tentacles are engorged, then I feed him some live brine shrimp or frozen Mysis preparation and his tentacles "deflate" after eating. From reading the bubble tip article on this site, I want to make sure that I'm not overfeeding him. <I would feed him twice weekly with the frozen Mysis shrimp soaked in Selcon and Vita-Chem.> I do know that the lighting system is definitely not enough for the bubble tip. They've got three fluorescent bulbs (generic, actinic, and 10000K) which add up to only 90 watts. There's only room in the hood for 3 bulbs. What would you suggest? I'm thinking of removing the generic bulb and replacing with some VHO fluorescent. Cost is a factor, as the company is very stingy. I have invested some of my own money for the sake of the health of this tank. <You are right about the light being inadequate. You will probably have to change all three lamps to three 110 watt VHO's.> Thanks! I love the site...it's very informative and easy to read for beginners. ---Stella <When looking around the site, did you see this article, http://www.WetWebMedia.com/bubbletipanemones.htm? This gentleman has had some real success with BTA's and there is much to be learned from his experiences. Good luck. -Steven Pro>
Re: Visual Guide to Bubble Tip Anemone?
Steven, thanks for your quick response. I have read the bubble tip article, and I hope I can reproduce his success. I'm hoping to order the VHO lamps and ballast soon, but is there anything I can do in the meantime to tide the anemone over? Maybe a directional lamp as a light supplement? Thanks! --Stella <Increasing the feeding should help get the anemone some extra energy. I do not know what you mean by directional lamp, but it probably won't hurt. It may not help much either, though. -Steven Pro>

A bleach blonde bubble tip Hey Bob, Got another problem I wanted to query your opinion on. I've got the 11 gallon Nano reef system (a vertical tank)-- pretty good numbers, my nitrates seem to stay around 10 ppm with regular water changes and iodine and calcium both need to be constantly replenished, but everything seems good right now (FYI-- I removed my oversized skimmer and have been working with just a cartridge (carbon) filter now for a while and it seems to be working fine-- that is, the water chemistry didn't exhibit drastic swings, I do more frequent water changes, etc and it saves me huge $ in all the things that the skimmer kept me adding like crazy). <Yes> My problem is a bubble anemone. It's in a tank with a pretty large red brain Lobophyllia and two proto/Palythoa zoanthid colonies and I think it is chemically irritated by something.  <Is this in the eleven gallon system?> It has moved away from the direct current to a place where it also gets very little light and now has stayed there for about a month or so. My single attempt to get it to consider a different home (by moving the rock it is attached to) was predictably rebuffed as it moved back to the same place. Meanwhile, it has bleached (for lack of light, I assume--the tank has 36w of compact lighting, but the where the anemone is, it gets little direct light), but continues to live, though it has never looked really very happy (it also reacts negatively to several coral additives-- vitamins and so forth, which I have stopped adding, and to iodine and calcium unless I administer them very slowly to the water, which I now do). Does my chemical interaction theory sound likely?  <Yes, plausible> Who is the best guess for the culprit in your opinion? I know the zoanthids can emit neurotoxins from hell, but the brain coral is large and a hard coral. They both seem to be doing fine, although periodically, small white worm-like coils appear on the brain coral-- almost like its losing its stuffing so to speak, but they merely sit on the surface of the coral, going nowhere (though eventually disappear-- back into it?). Have wondered about those, but can't find information there, either. <The latter are likely "nothing"... the zoanthid is the best cause thus far> Should I try adjusting the flow? Increasing? Decreasing? <I'd increase the lighting, check alkalinity, feed the animal> I hesitate to change much in the system, b/c for the most part, everybody but the anemone is happy. Should I add one of those "Skilter"/back pack type filters in the hope that better filtration could reduce chemical interaction problems? My fellow Nano-reefers seem to like this model for a small tank like mine. Any chance of the anemone's color ever returning? <This system is too small for this animal> A second question on lighting. My tanks came with 1 18w white spectrum compact and one actinic 18w (its the little open-top "Via-Aqua" if you know the model). The light has seemed too strong for some of the organisms, so I switched one bulb to a split bulb (1/2 white, 1/2 actinic), so I can run 18w of both spectrums. This suits some of the organisms who seemed not to like the stronger light and doesn't bother the ones that did okay with 36 watts. My question is now what do I do? Just run the 18w split indefinitely? <Get a larger system, or switch out some of the organisms, at least the anemone> Turn on the second 18w bulb for part of the day? If so, should my second light be a white spectrum, a blue spectrum or is it better for me to shell out the $ for a second split light and run it that way? Finally, if I wanted to decrease the overall wattage my creatures get from the light without replacing the bulbs, what's the best way?  <Thirty six watts of mixed full-spectrum should not be a problem with the organisms you list... some other anomaly/ies are at play here. Likely water quality related> Inserting plastic between the bulb and the water? covering part of the plastic cover the tank came with something to obstruct the light (i.e. plastic tape, etc)? Cant quite figure out the best way to experiment to see what the creatures like best, but don't want to flip them all out by experimenting/learning the hard way, etc. One other question: am planning on shifting everything to a 90 gallon tank in a few months (I expect I can "solve" my anemone problem this way, but it could be a few months yet) and would like to keep more than a single pygmy angel. LFS guys tell me I'd have better luck putting three in there than two because that way the aggression is distributed to more than a single individual. I know this worked with my Elephant Noses in my fresh tank, but haven't read much on this point in your book or in S. Michael's stuff. Your opinion? Are they trying to sell me up the pygmy angel river here? <For the real dwarf-dwarf species three should be okay> Many more questions, but will leave you alone for now... thanks, as always, for whatever attention you can give to me and my poor beleaguered anemone, other problems. Sigh, Derek <Try to expedite the schedule for the ninety gallon system. Bob Fenner>

Could you ID this anemone for me? Thanks! Sue <It's an Entacmaea quadricolor, a Bubble Tip Anemone. Bob F>
Re: Could you ID this anemone for me?
Thanks for the super fast reply. It was bought as such and a fellow reefer saw it and thought it looked like a Sebae.  <Mmm, you can see plenty of pix of both species on WetWebMedia.com> I have had it for 3 weeks and am debating about taking it back. It has sort of found a spot on the sand bed but I don't think it has really buried its foot. I tried to place it up higher and it keeps finding its way to the sandbed. I have a 62g with PC lights...4x55. I think it looks healthy so far. Do you? Would it be OK to make its home at the bottom of my tank with the lights I have on the tank? 23 1/2" high tank. Thanks again, Sue <Please read starting here: http://www.WetWebMedia.com/anemones.htm  following the links. Bob Fenner>

Questions about Entacmaea quadricolor Anemones Dear Mr. Fenner. <<Actually, still JasonC.>> Thanks to Jason for his very prompt reply to my last posting. I am very appreciative of the fact that you truly seem to care about other people's questions. <<Well, thank you for saying so...>> To give you an update, the boxfish that I had with the white mucous like patches on his back, had more the next morning. He had also been observed hiding behind a stack of Live Rocks and was not eating. I called the shop and they said that they would take him back as he was obviously poorly. He had, I believe, also been snacking on the arms of my Feather Star. Since he has gone the Feather Star is fully extended all the time and has moved to just under one of the powerheads. This story does not have a happy ending... Read no more for the faint of heart. So being very glad that the chap from the shop said that he was willing to exchange the said sick fish for something else, I, very cautiously, scooped him up and placed him into a large plastic bag, full of his tank water. Knowing full well, the reputation of this fish to excrete a nasty toxin into the water, I also placed his bag into another dark bag to keep him out of the light (remember what happened in Poltergeist), and presumably, to simulate night time. Well our sick little friend took immediate umbrage at the aforementioned treatment and within minutes he was deceased. <<oh, I am sorry - you are quite right, they do this.>> I was most upset. My words of advice, for what they count. A very cool looking fish, but I shall not be in a hurry to purchase one again. <<fair enough...>> In fact from all the reading I have subsequently done, I would rather they were kept in the wild. <<might be better, perhaps.>> I mourned for the prerequisite period of time, and then decided that I should buy something to fill the void that he had left. Bearing in mind what was left in the tank was a gorgeous two headed, Hawaiian Feather Duster, a Tri Colored Feather Star, my true Percula, a yellow tailed Damsel, and various Coral Banded Shrimps, some Peppermint Shrimp, which I purchased to eradicate the infamous Aiptasia. Needless to say that they are more interested in snacking on the brine shrimp and flakes. And last but not least my hermit crab Cedric. The Coral Banded Shrimp, I am convinced, that if he had 100 pincers would use them all to find food. He is forever eating leftovers on the tank floor. I obtained a Fire Goby, that is quite wonderful, he has taken a liking to the Percula, and can be seen darting in and out of his various burrows in the sand. <<ah good.>> Also I obtained a stunning specimen of Entacmaea quadricolor, that is about 3" when fully extended. <<ok>> So after enough rambling here is my question. ( Finally I hear you say!) The EQ was quite buried in some coral substrate when he was in the shop, and contracted immediately upon touch. This was what I took to be a good sign. He arrived home and immediately set about to dig his foot into a crevasse, well more of a crevice ( I am making my tank sound like the Great Barrier Reef), in the Live Rock and sort of sulked for a few hours. He then went through a period of blowing himself up like a ball and spitting out strands of mucous. Then he was back to normal. Today he is fully horizontally extended and his bulbs are very full, the concern that I have is that his mouth is always half open. Well sometimes it is shut, but not often. Is this normal. <<it is somewhat normal - have seen other types of anemones do this for weeks on end with no change in health, or looks.>> There is a dearth of information about this sp on the internet. On one post someone replied that it was a sign that it was dying. In all other aspects he seems quite fine. <<and I would take it from there.>> He is so firmly attached to the rock that I am not sure that I could move him without causing damage to his pedal disc. <<I wouldn't move it at this point.>> And when he is touched he immediately retracts into a ball. The Percula has ignored him ever since he appeared and is playing with it's reflection in the glass, as well as stripping all of the filamentous algae off the stones. <<I wouldn't expect the Percula to take interest in this type of anemone - not in it's list of usual suspects. There is a compatibility matrix on the following page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm >> I tried to feed the EQ today with a half piece of Krill, which he ignored, in fact it sat on his tentacles for all of 20 seconds until one of the Lysmata wurdemanni came along and took it right off him without a thank you. I am curious as to your interpretation of his open mouth and would be glad of any suggestions that you may have. <<wait it out.>> Also as a footnote. I have numerous colonies of feather dusters popping up through the sand and on the rock is this a good sign. <<yes, it is.>> Ok I shall leave you now as I have taken up a lot of your time. I gather you were on holidays. I hope you had fun. <<oh, gangs and gangs of fun, I can assure you. ;-)>> Thanks again for your time. <<You are welcome.>> Julian Hunt. Canada <<Cheers, J -- >>

Bubble tip anemone split Hello again. My bubble tip anemone split today. When I went to work it was not extended very much. When I came home half of the anemone was crawling one way and the other a different direction.  <Congrats, this happens... for "good" and/or "bad" "reasons"... Schizogyny... a form of asexual reproduction.> I saw it put 2 more inches between its 2 halves in an hour of observations. I assume this is a good sign? I have had the anemone for 15 months now. It has always been the hardest thing for me to judge growth wise. It expands variably each day and hasn't moved in 14 months. <Sounds good> I am pretty sure it is growing but it is hard to tell.  <Well stated> Is the division a positive sign for the animals over all health? I hope so because it sure has confused my Tomato clownfish. <How would you feel to find your house moving, now two?> The division process itself was fascinating. It looks like it just popped in half. Each half has good tentacle extension for night and is moving from the original anchor point. Thanks, Everett. <Thanks for the report... Now if only I can teach my money to do this...  Bob Fenner>
Re: Bubble tip anemone split.
What bad conditions could make an anemone split?  <Poor water quality, predation, overall "stress" factors...> They are 6 inches apart this morning and have both stayed on their big rock. Hope they don't get wanderlust I was kind of liking it not moving anymore. Thanks for the advice, Everett <Me too, not the splitting, but the hoping. Bob Fenner, who wouldn't, doesn't worry>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: